Current medical treatments for conditions involving an impaired respiratory system provide inefficient methods of delivering oxygen to the patient. Patients with these respiratory dysfunctions are often unable to get the required amount of oxygen to the brain and body. This can lead to delayed recovery from acute illness, multisystem organ failure, and ultimately death. The mortality rate for cases of respiratory dysfunctions has been recently reported in the range of 31–75% [1]. This is especially troubling considering there are many causes of respiratory failure leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), including pneumonia, sepsis, trauma, chemical inhalation, and bacterial or viral infection.

Methods of oxygenation and ventilation that bypass the lungs have been explored in an effort to promote lung recovery. So far, only extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been approved for medical use. However, ECMO is an unsatisfactory treatment as it possesses...

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